The book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni has been in the coaching community for many years. It’s among the books recommended by the Volleyball Coaching Wizards, and on many other similar lists. For good reason. It definitely provides a lot for leaders of teams to think about – and members of teams too.

The largest part of the book is actually a story. It’s about a new CEO at a company working to make a better team of her senior managers. That’s where the five dysfunctions are outlined explicitly. The story then demonstrates them and their impact through its narrative. I found that super engaging.

The back end of the book – call it the last 10-15% – shifts back to non-fiction mode. That’s where the author gets prescriptive. He goes through all the dysfunctions, both individually and how they link to each other.

Here are the dysfunctions in the pyramid format layout the book presents them, as interpreted here.

I’m going to address these dysfunctions in separate posts, as they are extremely relevant to our teams, so I won’t do that here. I will, however, strongly recommend that you read this book. The dysfunctions are more complex and inter-related than the pyramid might make them appear. It will make you think. That, to me, is the hallmark of a good non-fiction book.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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